Bethenny Frankel is giving back in a big way to help with the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
After announcing that her disaster relief initiative, BStrong, is putting together “corona kits” to help families in need, the Real Housewives of New York City alum is continuing to do what she can to aid amid the global outbreak.
PEOPLE can exclusively reveal that BStrong, along with Frankel’s partner, Global Empowerment Mission, and boyfriend Paul Bernon, are donating 10,000 N95 medically-approved masks next week to Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston.
Her decision to donate to Massachusetts General Hospital comes more than a year after she went into anaphylactic shock and suffered a near-fatal allergic reaction to fish. Following the life-threatening incident, Frankel was hospitalized at Newton-Wellesley Hospital, which is part of Massachusetts General Hospital.
“I went to Boston University and the hospital, Newton-Wellesley, which is part of Mass General, is who saved my life,” she tells PEOPLE.
As to how BStrong obtained the massive number of face masks, Frankel, 49, explains, “We have relationships in every supply chain for a disaster, so we have multiple suppliers making hand sanitizer gel and masks for us as we speak. We used masks for the Guatemala volcano eruption and we have a warehouse in Miami where we house our aid and supplies.”
“We have 100,000 masks being distributed to hospitals in crisis next week in addition to our corona kits, hydration, immune building and sanitization kits,” she shares.
As of Friday, there have been 15,650 confirmed cases of the coronavirus and 202 deaths in the United States, according to a New York Times database.
A top health official on President Donald Trump’s coronavirus task force warned that Americans could be home for “at least several weeks.”
“If you look at the trajectory of the curves of outbreaks and other areas, it’s at least going to be several weeks,” Dr. Anthony Fauci said. “I cannot see that all of a sudden, next week or two weeks from now it’s going to be over. I don’t think there’s a chance of that. I think it’s going to be several weeks.”
Frankel, who has a home in Boston with Bernon, says the pair both “wired the money for the first orders because this isn’t something that we can wait for donations for. Donations will come, but without the masks, more people will die.”
She adds that “we are receiving grants now from hospitals who want us to supply them with masks. One hundred percent goes to the effort.”
In addition to Newton-Wellesley Hospital, Frankel, who is a proud New Yorker, says she is also “donating thousands of masks to New York University, where I graduated.”
“This is the biggest crisis now in my opinion,” Frankel says about the coronavirus.
For those who would like to donate to BStrong, “send us the grant and we will send masks directly to the hospital,” says Frankel.
As information about the coronavirus pandemic rapidly changes, PEOPLE is committed to providing the most recent data in our coverage. Some of the information in this story may have changed after publication. For the latest on COVID-19, readers are encouraged to use online resources from CDC, WHO, and local public health departments and visit our coronavirus hub.
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